As of noon Tuesday, less than 48 hours after Swift’s post, more than 169,000 new people had registered on the site to vote, spokeswoman Kamari Guthrie told The Washington Post.
That put the number of new voters registered on the site in October, to date, at 240,329. By comparison, the group said 56,669 new voters registered in August and 190,178 registered in September. In October 2016, there were 405,149 new registrations on Vote.org for the whole month.
Guthrie said it’s difficult to credit Swift directly for the spike in registrations because there is usually some kind of a surge just before voter registration deadlines in election years, since “people wait until the deadline to register.” (As is the case in many states, Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote in Tennessee in time for the Nov. 6 election. You can check what it takes to vote in your state here.)
However, among the 169,000 new registrations since Sunday, more than half were by those ages 18 to 29.
“One thing is clear, we’re seeing a massive surge in the 18 to 24 and 25 to 29 voters, which is her fan demographic. The 18 to 24 number almost doubled overnight,” Guthrie said. “Taylor Swift’s visibility on this issue is driving a lot of coverage of voter registration, and it’s reaching many of her fans who would not otherwise be following news like this.”
In Tennessee, where Swift is registered to vote, Vote.org tracked 2,144 new voter registrations in the 36 hours since the singer’s post, bringing October’s to-date total to 7,554 — a sharp increase from 2,811 registrations in September and 951 in August.
“Overall, we were thrilled, especially to see millennials get involved,” Guthrie said. “Taylor’s post has helped bring out young voters. . . . We’re especially happy to see that because we know voting is habit-forming; statistically, a young person who votes in 2018 is 55 percent more likely to vote again in 2020.”
In her post Sunday, Swift vowed to vote for two Democratic candidates: former governor Phil Bredesen for the Senate and Rep. Jim Cooper for reelection. She also acknowledged her past reluctance to address political issues but said that had changed in the past two years:
“I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country,” she wrote. “I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.”
Swift also blasted Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Bredesen’s Republican opponent, for having voted against those values.
“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn,” Swift wrote. “Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me.”
Swift implored her followers to “please, please educate yourself” on local candidates and to vote.
“For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100 percent on every issue, but we have to vote anyway,” Swift wrote. “So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count.”
Swift’s Instagram post was welcomed by Democrats in Tennessee, where polls show Blackburn and Bredesen are locked in a tight race to replace Sen. Bob Corker (R).
President Trump, who has hailed Blackburn as an “outstanding person & great supporter of mine,” brushed off Swift’s Instagram post Monday night.
“I’m sure Taylor Swift doesn’t know anything about” Blackburn, he said. “Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now, okay?”
On Tuesday, Trump tried to mobilize his own followers by retweeting a message indicating that Tuesday was the deadline to register to vote in more than a dozen states.
“REGISTER TO VOTE!” the president noted, followed by a link to a voter registration site run by the GOP.
That evening, Swift won artist of the year at the American Music Awards, and in her acceptance speech again spoke out about the mid-term elections. “Get out and vote. I love you, bye.”
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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈